Summer Garden with Butterflies

One of the nicest parts about summer is seeing all the flowers in bloom.  Right now in my garden there are purple coneflowers, daisies, black-eyed Susans, bee balm, phlox and many other colorful flowers, all competing for space.  Along with these plants are some interesting visitors such as butterflies, along with bumblebees and honey bees.  One of my favorite herbs is lavender, and since there was so much rain this spring followed by sunshine they have really grown.  Here is an assortment from my garden on a sunny day.  I would have taken more pictures but I was chased away by a bee that didn’t want any humans around!

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A Rainy (and a Sunny) Day in Rochester

When I was in England this past March I spent most of my time in Kent.  During the week I went to Rochester for a visit and it was a rainy day.  I enjoyed visiting the Guildhall and the Cathedral but it was difficult to take many photos because of the weather.  I had to find an entryway or another sheltered spot where I could put down my umbrella and take pictures.  I didn’t end up venturing too far from where there were buildings and sidewalks.  Still, I thought it would be nice to return on a sunny day because it was a charming place.

Later in the week I had that opportunity so I took a train back to Rochester to see it in the sunshine.  It was so different to see everything on a bright (and breezy) day!  I took pictures of some of the same places I had just been to show the contrast.  And even though it was March there were flowers so I’ve included a picture of them too.  It was really interesting to see what a difference sunshine and blue sky made!

Welcome to Spring

 

It isn’t quite spring yet but it won’t be long now!  There have been some warm days recently and I’ve seen lots of cheery yellow daffodils in bloom, but because it is early March the days can be chilly.  Still, it’s only a few weeks until the beginning of spring and then we’ll be seeing this:

I’m going to England later this month and I’m looking forward to many new adventures.

A Garden Visitor

After visiting the Chelsea Flower Show in May I’ve been inspired to work on my own garden.  After all, who wouldn’t want a garden that looks like this?

So I’ve been tending my garden and the lavender, purple coneflowers, daisies, lemon balm, thyme and other herbs and flowers have really grown since I planted them last year.  There have been lots of bumblebees this summer but no butterflies until yesterday, when I saw a visitor among the flowers.

 

The butterfly didn’t seem to mind that I was standing very close to get these pictures. Since I’d selected flowers for this garden that would attract bees, butterflies and songbirds, I was delighted to see such a colorful visitor.  Later I did some research and discovered that it’s a Tiger Swallowtail, and I hope it comes back many, many times!

First Impressions of the Chelsea Flower Show

When I got off the tube at Sloane Square to go to the flower show I heard someone say to follow the crowds.  However it was around 8:00 am and it looked like a lot of the crowd was going to work.  Finally I decided to follow a group of people wearing straw hats and sunglasses.  This was a good decision because after a few minutes I saw signs for the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could walk right up to the exhibit gardens without having to wait behind people to see anything.  These were the first flowers I saw.

Chelsea

Since lavender is a favorite of mine I enjoyed seeing this pretty arrangement.  These were some of the gardens around the corner:

I couldn’t believe that I’d seen all these exhibits within my first fifteen minutes of being there!  But what followed was both beautiful and solemn.  I had heard about the field of poppies, but seeing it was an unforgettable experience.  Here is an explanation as well as some pictures.

 

I lingered at this exhibit and after a while I could see all the individual flowers and think about the work that had gone into this display.  There were also people carrying examples of these handmade poppies to show us.  Each one was unique yet they blended together so well.  I returned to this exhibit several times during the day but I never got as good a view as I did early in the morning.

I wanted the time to go slowly while I was there – I didn’t want the day to end!  I have many more stories and pictures from that wonderful day.

Scenes from the Chelsea Flower Show

I’ve just returned from a visit to England, where I spent last Thursday at the Chelsea Flower Show.  I got there early enough that I could see the gardens and Pavilion displays before it became crowded.  It was an extraordinary experience for someone who loves flowers and gardens (that’s me).  The weather was perfect with sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds.  Here are some views from the show – there will be many future posts because I took over 300 pictures!

Chelsea Flower Show

Some scenes from the show:

A quotation that I noticed in the Great Pavilion.

Chelsea Flower Show

 

 

Travel Time

After all the planning and daydreaming, it’s almost time for my trip to London.  Passport – check.  Train reservations to Bath – check.  Currency exchange – probably next week.  I just found out that I can use my phone there for a small daily fee and that’s good news.  I’m hoping that there aren’t too many movies I want to watch on the plane so I can attempt to sleep (or at least rest) on the overnight flight.  Sometimes when I get up to walk around on the plane during a transatlantic flight I feel like I’m the only one that is still awake.  Still, it doesn’t stop me from watching another movie.  Once I had the idea of listening to relaxing music to try to doze but that didn’t work either.  Not that it matters – I’m not going to attempt to sleep until it’s evening where I’m going.  I don’t want to miss anything!

I’m looking forward to seeing my favorite places and looking for future favorites too.  It’s a short train ride to Bath from London and I plan to do a lot of walking.  I’m sure I’ll see lots of flowers and gardens (I’ll take pictures to share).  Planning and daydreaming are part of the preparation for travel, and they are just as exciting as the trip itself!

Almost Spring Again

Now that it’s March I know it will be spring soon.  I was out for a walk at a park and when I saw all these hopeful signs of spring I know it won’t be long now.

almost spring

Just a few more days and it will be spring!

Almost spring

A Lake Maggiore Walk

During my visit to Italy last May I took an afternoon walk one day in Baveno along Lake Maggiore.  When I look at these pictures now I can see that it wasn’t a sunny day, but I didn’t notice it at the time.  This is probably because the views of the lake and mountains were so compelling the cloudy skies didn’t matter.  There weren’t too many people around that day so I could focus on the scenery.  I also remember seeing the flowers beginning to bloom on the hydrangeas.  Just as I thought it would be nice to have a treat I found a gelato shop.  This was an important part of the walk too.

Lake Maggiore

What I saw along the way.

It was a charming walk.

Lake Maggiore